Many people in Vishakhapatnam have tonsils. They visittheir ENT hospital in Vishakhapatnam for treatment but suffer from the same problem after a few months. So, why does it happen, and how can you prevent it? To understand this, let us first learn why do tonsil stones develop.
Why do tonsil stones develop?
Tonsils are tissue pieces in the back of the mouth's side. They have lymph nodes and help filter out viruses and bacteria.
Tiny calcium deposits, known as tonsilloliths or tonsil stones, can grow up on tonsils. It happens due to dead cells, food, or mucus that you normally swallow. However, it can sometimes get caught in mini pockets of the tonsils' mucus membrane coating. This is a similar substance that lines your mouth, nose, and throat's insides.
Tonsil stones are rough in texture and white or yellow. They are small — about the size of a rice grain — yet can develop large, up to about a grape's size.
Furthermore, tonsils are mostly found in people who have repeated tonsillitis or have huge tonsils.
Now that you understand why tonsil stones develop, let us understand how to find out tonsil stones.
How to tell if you have tonsil stones?
Tiny tonsil stones may not bring any signs. Yet, potential symptoms are:
- Poor breath
- Throat irritation or a sensation like a thing is stuck inside your throat
- White bumps over your tonsils
- Problems swallowing
- Tonsil redness
- Ear pain (if a tonsil stone presses on a nerve)
Several tonsil stone signs are the same as tonsillitis. However, tonsillitis also brings headaches and fever.
Now that you know the symptoms of tonsil stones let us understand how you can prevent them from recurring.
Preventing tonsil stones from recurring
The only way to completely stop tonsil stones is to remove your tonsils surgically. This surgery is known as a tonsillectomy. It is often used to treat chronic tonsillitis.
Tonsillectomies are commonly performed in childhood; still, they can be performed in adults as well. The procedure is done under general anaesthesia.
Side effects usually involve a sore throat and problems swallowing for some days. Severe side effects are uncommon. You can visit your ENT specialist in Vishakhapatnam to learn more about the surgery procedure.
For people who do not match the tonsillectomy's criteria (i.e., seven cases of tonsillitis or strep throat in a single year), there are methods to help stop tonsil stones on your own.
- Practice good oral hygiene
This is the right method to stop tonsil stones from occurring. Ensure to brush your tongue and teeth in the morning, before bed, and after each meal. Additionally, it would be best if you floss every day. This helps to prevent debris from getting collected in your tonsils' mucus membrane.
Mouthwash can help flush bacteria and debris out from your mouth and prevent tonsil stones from forming. Use a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol.
- Gargling water
You can gargle with warm salt water as it can stop viruses or bacteria from entering your tonsils and bringing problems. Also, it can help reduce pain linked with tonsil stones.
- Water pick
You can utilize a water pick to flush out your mouth and avoid bacteria and debris.
Removing tonsil stones at home
If your tonsil stones are minuet, try removing them at home. The best method to try this is to scrape them out using a cotton swab or toothbrush gently. A gargling or water pick can also help dislodge the stones.
When to see an ENT Specialist?
Several tonsil stones do not need medical assistance. If your signs are severe, your tonsils are extremely red, or you have ear pain, visit an ENT specialist in Visakhapatnam. These may be tonsillitis symptoms or other, more severe problems. You should also consult a specialist if your tonsil stones are extremely large.
If your tonsil stones keep returning (are repeated), you should visit a specialist. They will try to determine the underlying reason for your repeated tonsil stones. In this case, a specialist may suggest that you surgically remove your tonsils.
In several situations, tonsil stones are harmless. It will disappear on its own or with good oral hygiene and at-home removal. Yet, they can become a symptom of a severe issue, like tonsillitis. If you get tonsil stones usually or the stones become large, make an appointment with your ENT specialist to have them checked.